THE Muhimbili National Hospital has begun moving some of its inpatients to the new teaching Mloganzila campus of Health and Allied Services on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam.
The hospital's head of Communication, Mr Aminiel Aligaesha says the move follows last year's directive by Presidemnt John Magufuli to that effect, whose implementation started from early December last year until January 9, 2018 during which more than 80 patients had since been from its Mwaisela Ward to Mloganzila.
"Some of the patients were transferred to ease congestion ... and we're moving 40 more patients today ... to be followed by another 40 tomorrow (January 11)," he noted.
On November 25, 2017 the president asked senior officials at MNH to explore the possibility of shifting more than 500 inpatients to the newly launched MUHAS medical centre. Mr Aligaesha said Mwaisela Ward had 240 beds and usually provided sleeping space for between 250 and 300 inpatients - making Mwaisela an often congested block.
However, Mr Aligaesha said the country's premiere hospital would continue working closely with Mloganzila and its specialist teaching staff to provide medical treatment at the new facility.
The president officially inaugurated the new Mloganzila campus located at Kibamba along Morogoro road; construction of the facility -to accommodate over 500 persons at a time started in 2014 at a cost of 206bn/-.Speaking during inaugural ceremony, President Magufuli said the NMH had some 571 inpatients at the time, when the hospital also faced critical shortage of staff.
"Why don't you shift them here ... because the wards are empty ... so that the patients can get treated in relative peace ... this is my humble suggestion. "We would like to assure all the patients being transferred to Mloganzila ... that the process will not affect their treatment and they will receive all the necessary care," he further counselled.
Dr Magufuli said the new facility was also well-equipped and managed with qualified staff who could serve the patients better under the new environment - in stark contrast to the MNH.
Last year, the president made a surprise visit to the Muhimbili National Hospital, following which hospital authorities instituted immediate, albeit positive, changes at the facility.
Patients who initially slept on the floor now had beds and the authorities also fixed its diagnostic equipment that had since been out of use for months.
However, the president's efforts in trying to ensure better health services at MNH had barely scratched the surface under which lay a myriad of challenges facing the country's health sector over the years. The president of the Medical Association of Tanzania (MAT), Dr Billy Haonga, the MNH infrastructure
"is overstretched by the overwhelming number of patients who lack specialised care at regional hospitals."